Friday, August 5, 2011
Alan Rickman is leading the Supporting Actor Oscar race! -Bayley
Harry Potter is a cultural phenomena. I don't need to say what hasn't already been said. At this time, on August 5th, the "final" film of the franchise Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 has grossed $1, 018, 425, 686 worldwide and is also the #8 highest grossing film of all-time (imdb.com). The crazy thing is by next week all these statistics will be obsolete as it racks in more money. I have seen the film twice and feel that it is a worthy edition and finale in the most successful film franchise of all-time and is quite possibly the best of all eight films. But the surprise chatter about this film is actor Alan Rickman's, Severus Snape, character. With famous critics such as Ebert and Roeper giving Oscar-worthy predictions and praise to him, it's something to think about. Critics and fans start the catalyst of buzz and while it is hard to maintain this buzz all the way til Oscar season (starting roughly at the beginning of October), one could say this is sure to withstand the months. But why?
Well, Rickman is a screen veteran. Having starred in films and television since 1971, I will always remember him as Hans Gruber from Die Hard ("Now I have a machine gun....ho ho ho"......what a guy!). He is definitely most famous for this role of Severus Snape, whose mystery and complexity have given readers enough for some to call him their favorite character. In the films, his story arc is slow to gain its complete stride. In Sorcerer's Stone he is introduced as a possible villain and is in the spotlight but for films 2-4, he is merely doing his "Snape" thing, so to speak. This is in no way a bad thing. Rickman has fun with the role, even giving a certain "broken down" sentence verbalization of the lines that has now become synonymous with the role. In 5-8, he gets much more to do. From helping Harry to keep Voldemort from penetrating his mind, to the final moments on screen, we get the character we thought was a villain, become just a pissed off teacher, to a villain, to a misunderstood hero. Woah.
But the point I truly wanted to make was about this final film and final performance. Here, the character of Snape is revealed for who he is. All the readers wanted to see how this character would be portrayed in his pivotal moments. I must say, it did not disappoint anyone I think I have spoken to at all. The scene in particular that many point out as THE scene from the film, is the montage of Snape's memories. It's the emotional pull of the film (besides the ties your Harry Potter-reading heart's had when you realized your childhood was ending before your eyes). Rickman is only in a few scenes of the film but he was able to play everything perfectly and not break his moody character but rather add a heart to it that we always knew was there and were waiting to see revealed.
Can Rickman get nominated for Best Supporting Actor come Oscar time? Yes. Why? Three main reasons come to mind...
1. The Academy wants to acknowledge the Harry Potter Series- The films may have been tucked away as 'just blockbusters' or "children's films", but this one hit a dramatic level that critics and audiences are fully embracing.
2. Rickman has never been nominated for an Oscar before- The Academy loves to acknowledge under-appreciated actors with long careers, especially with a character that solidifies their career. Here you go...
3. If Judi Dench can win Best Supporting Actress for Shakespeare In Love in 1998 for being on-screen for eight minutes, why not Rickman?- Right?
Leave your feedback on this year's Oscar contender's so far and if you are on board with me about Alan Rickman. And please, if you haven't seen Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 yet (and you're reading this?), then please go see it and rent all the films previous to it because they truly will be remembered films.